Adults far and wide hand out trophies to children’s teams when they lose — and it now appears an offshoot of that credo may have reached the level of college athletics.
The University of St. Thomas — called a Division III “powerhouse” — is getting kicked out of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference seemingly because its teams are too dominant, ESPN reported.
“The MIAC Presidents’ Council cites athletic competitive parity in the conference as a primary concern,” the league said in a statement, according to ESPN. “St. Thomas will begin a multi-year transition immediately and meanwhile is eligible to compete as a full member of the MIAC through the end of spring 2021.”
St. Thomas, a private school in Saint Paul, Minnesota, was told the league would disband if the school remained a member, the outlet added, citing school officials.
ESPN said St. Thomas has won six MIAC football titles since 2010 and reached the title game in 2012 and 2015. But the outlet also said the school’s overall athletic program has been on a winning streak, with St. Thomas finishing 10th nationally in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings for Division III schools, which grades athletic programs’ success.
The league’s decision is “extremely disappointing,” St. Thomas president Julie H. Sullivan said in a statement — but added that the school is committed to finding a new athletic conference, ESPN said.
“Although our athletic conference will change, one thing will not: our commitment to continued academic and athletic excellence,” Sullivan added, the outlet reported.
It’s worth noting that St. Thomas spends $1.1 million on football annually, ESPN said, citing U.S. Department of Education data, and its 6,000-plus enrollment outdistances enrollment of the other schools in the MIAC.
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